Burger King Outstanding Student Athlete: Penn's Niko Kavadas
Penn High School senior, Niko Kavadas, loves to hit.
“If I could sit in a cage all day, I would. Take swing after swing after swing. That’s really it,” Kavadas said. “When I see the fastball my eyes get real big, I get really excited, my bloods pumping, and as soon as make good barrel contact, good launch angle, I know it’s gone. But I try not to show that.”
And his bat hasn’t gone unnoticed. Tom Stanton, Penn’s Pitching Coach, said, “He’s one of the best hitters in the state of Indiana…You know he’s going to play at the next level.”
The next level is right around the corner for Kavadas. He will head to Notre Dame to play baseball in the fall.
“Baseball is my first love, baseball is my main love, so, that was the top priority to me. But to find a school that also valued their academic programs as well, so when it came down to it, Notre Dame
had the best value of education as well as baseball program and when you throw in the proximity to home, I mean it’s a no-brainer.”
Being close to home means his dad can be in the stands, and that’s a major benefit for Kavadas. “He’s been my main supporter, my complete support system, for 10-12 year however long I’ve played the game,” Kavadas said.
Although his father never played the game past middle school, he said he has an extremely high knowledge for the game.
“He sits online at 2am and googles like professional hitters and watches swings at 1000 frames per second and then is like Robinson Cano does this but don’t, why don’t you think about doing this and I’ll try it and my launch angles will be better for the next couple days. So to have him there is really awesome."
Kavadas can obviously hit the ball all over the field, but he can also play wherever he’s needed. For Penn, he’s on the mound and at third most of the time. But come this fall, he will be expected to move to the outfield for Notre Dame.
Kavadas said, “I want to do whatever I can to help the team win. I’m in it for 4 years so I want to lay a good ground. Whether that’s come off the bench, just doing little things on the sidelines, or starting the lineup, hopefully that’s what it is, but whatever it is to help the team win, I’m willing to do it.”
Kavadas said he listens to the Irish on the radio almost every time they play, and he loves to catch the last couple innings on television when his games overlap. He has a couple months until he will put on the blue and gold, so right now, he’s staying focused on the Kingsmen.
He said, “My goal is to win another state championship. I got one as a sophomore and that was really an incredible experience. And I’ve been playing with my teammates for 10 years now, with my fellow seniors, and I don’t think there is any other way to go out than with another state championship.”